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Abstract

This article discusses how Turkey is often under-studied due to the fact that it does not fit neatly into the analytical "boxes" used to discuss international politics. Not only does Turkey straddle Europe and Asia, but it is one of few Middle Eastern countries that was not ruled by Western empires (and, in fact, controlled parts of Europe). It is a non-Arab secular democracy currently governed by a Muslim-oriented party. Because of these unique characteristics, scholars and policy makers have much to learn from Turkey and its approach to challenging issues of regional concern.